“Lest We Forget” Conference on Enslavement and Emancipation

The Prince William County Historic Preservation Division will host the first in an annual series of conferences on African-American history in Virginia. The conference will be held February 21 to 23, 2013, at the Hylton Memorial Chapel which is located at 14640 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge. Activities will include historical and dramatic plays, keynote addresses,paper sessions, and discussion roundtables and forums. The conference will conclude with two, day-long bus tours to significant African-American sites in Washington, D.C. and Prince William County/City of Manassas. The tours, which cost $100 and $70 respectively, include lunch.

Coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln in January 1863, “Lest We Forget” will engage history as a vehicle for understanding both the present day and the future. The conference will bring together noted scholars, public historians, and actors to explore the cultural and historical legacies of the antebellum period. Registration and attendance for the conference is free. For more information or to register, please call (703) 792-4754, send an e-mail to historicpreservation@pwcgov.org, or visit http://www.manassasbullrun.com.

Conference Schedule


Thursday, February 21

 8:00 a.m.: Exhibit Hall Opens

 9:00-10:00 a.m.: (Sanctuary)

– Invocation, Presentation of Colors and Pledge of Allegiance

– Introductory Address: Chairman Corey Stewart and Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe, Prince William Board of

County Supervisors

 10:00-11:30 a.m.: Session I, The Architecture of Slavery and the Built Environment (Sanctuary)

Professor John Vlach and Mr. Dennis Pogue explore the vernacular architecture of 18th and 19th century Virginia and the

consequent impact of slavery upon the landscape.

– John Vlach, George Washington University

– Dennis Pogue, University of Maryland

 12:00-1:30 p.m.: Exhibit Hall open, attendees lunch on own at local restaurants

 1:30-2:30 p.m.: Session II, Historical Dramatic Program (Sanctuary)

– Mr. LeCount Holmes portrays “The Life of Frederick Douglass”

 2:30-3:30: Session III, Interpretation and Exceptional Experiences (Sanctuary)

Join museum professionals from the national, state and local level as they discuss their experiences, issues and challenges

when interpreting the history of slavery for public audiences.

– Emmanuel Dabney

– Silas Omohundro

– Maureen Lee, Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

– Dr. Lauranett Lee, Curator of African American History at VHS

 2:30-3:30: Session IV, Slavery and the Civil War (Multi-Purpose Room)

Historians discuss the unique experiences of the enslaved population both on and off the Civil War battlefield.

– Contraband and Slavery by Ashley Whitehead

– The Significance of Slave Songs by Jim Thomas

– United States Colored Troops, Jimmy Price

– Richard Bland Lee, Sully, and Slave Quarter Interpretation – Tammy Higgs

 4:00-5:00: Session V, Roundtable: Family/A.A. Genealogy (Sanctuary)

Learn from Virginia and Maryland archivists about the exciting research opportunities presented by tracing your own

family history and African-American genealogy through the historical record.

– Don Wilson, RELIC Library, Prince William County

– Chris Haley, MD Historical Society

– John Metz, Director, Library of Virginia

– Gregg Kimball, Archivist, Library of Virginia

 5:00-8:00 p.m.: Historical Dramatic Program and Concert (First Baptist Church, Manassas)

Enjoy an original performance on the Trial of Nat Turner by the award-winning actor, director and playwright, Michael



Friday, February 22

 8:00 a.m.: Exhibit Hall Opens

 9:00 a.m.: Invocation, Presentation of Colors and Pledge of Allegiance

 9:30-10:30 a.m.: Session VI, African-American Cemeteries and Mortuary Practices (Split Room)

Professors Lynn Rainville and Michael Blakely consider the cultural heritage and implications implicit in African-

American mortuary practices and discuss important findings from African-American cemeteries and burial grounds.

– Lynn Rainville, Sweet Briar

– Michael Blakey, College of William & Mary

 9:30-10:30: Session VII, Self-Emancipation in Virginia (Sanctuary)

Noted scholars discuss the struggles and triumphs of African-American Virginians who boldly fought for their freedom.

– Dr. Karolyn Smardz-Frost, Bicentennial Visiting Professor for Canadian Studies, Yale University (2012-2013) and Senior

Research Fellow, Harriet Tubman Institute, York University, Toronto

– Dr. Deborah Lee, Antislavery and the Underground Railroad in Mid-Atlantic

– Bronwnen Souders, Runaway Slaves and Newspaper Research

– Sheri Huerta, GMU PhD student; Slave trials at Brentsville in the 1850s

 10:30-10:45 a.m.: Coffee Break

 10:45-11:45 a.m.: Session VIII, Roundtable: Local Communities, Museums and Public History (Reception Room)

Local museum professionals highlight particular issues regarding the interpretation of Virginia’s African-American

history for public audiences.

– Audrey Davis, Alexandria Black History Museum

– Karen Hughes White, Afro American Association of Fauquier County

– Leondra Burchall, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

– Jenny Masur, NPS Underground Railroad Network-to-Freedom

 12:00-1:00 p.m.: Attendees lunch at local restaurants

 1:00-2:00 p.m.: Session IX: Teaching Enslavement and Emancipation

History and Social Studies teachers from Prince William County discuss the strategies for imparting America’s history of

slavery and its struggles for freedom on students of all ages.

– Roundtable forum led by Prince William County Public School Social Studies and History teachers.

 2:00-3:00 p.m.: Session X, Prince William County Schools, Introduction by Jim Bish (Reception Room)

Reading of three papers on African-American history delivered by selected Prince William County Public School


 2:00-3:00 p.m.: Session XI, African-Americans, Film, and Civil Rights History in Virginia (Sanctuary Hall)

Stafford residents Dr. Lewis Brown and Dr. Shamira Brown provide a unique glimpse of the Civil Rights Movement in

Virginia as they share from their rich collection of rare footage and from their own recollections of lived experience of the

important events and moments of the time.

– Dr. Lewis Brown and Dr. Shamira Brown, Stafford, Virginia

 3:00-4:00 p.m.: Session XII: Researching the Underground Railroad in Northern Virginia

Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander and Dr. Spencer Crew illuminate the history of the Underground Railroad in Virginia

and present research opportunities for its further study.

– Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander; Norfolk State University

– Dr. Spencer Crew; Underground Railroad in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, operation and role of African-

Americans in region

 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Final Keynote Address (Sanctuary)

– Lacy Ward, Moton Museum introduced by Supervisor Marty Nohe, Prince William Board of County Supervisors

 7:00-9:00 p.m.: Harriet Tubman: The Chosen One (Little Union Baptist Church, 17150 Mine Road, Dumfries)

Join the Little Union Baptist Church and Gwendolyn Briley-Strand for an inspirational performance of the life of Harriet


 7:00-9:00 p.m.: “Lest We Forget” concert program (First Baptist Church, Manassas)


Saturday, February 23

8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Washington, D.C. and Prince William County/City of Manassas Bus Tours


***Attendees should note that the Hylton Memorial Chapel and Events Center will not be open at this time, with the exception of parking for bus tours.***

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